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2014-2015

63 hits

  • Thumbnail for SIN VS. VIRTUE: A STUDY OF PERFORMANCE BETWEEN SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND SINFUL INVESTING DURING BOTH CONTRACTION AND EXPANSION PERIODS IN THE U.S.
    SIN VS. VIRTUE: A STUDY OF PERFORMANCE BETWEEN SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND SINFUL INVESTING DURING BOTH CONTRACTION AND EXPANSION PERIODS IN THE U.S. by ,

    This paper examines the performance differences between “virtue” and “sin” investing. For years people have believed that the “sin” industries: tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and defense outperform both conventional investment benchmarks and socially responsible, “virtuous”, industries. While a large portion of existing literature has been supportive of this theory, this study seeks to examine the hypothesis that socially responsible investing is equally as profitable as “sin” investing. By examining two constructed portfolios, one consisting of all socially responsible stocks and the other of all “sin” stocks, this study found evidence that socially responsible stocks do give investors the same attractive returns as “sin” stocks. Likewise, both “sin” and “virtue” outperform the Russell 3000 to further support the theory that these industries can outperform conventional investment benchmarks.

  • Thumbnail for STOCK PRICE RESPONSE TO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CHANGES: AN ANALYSIS OF NONDURABLE AND DURABLE GOODS MANUFACTURERS
    STOCK PRICE RESPONSE TO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CHANGES: AN ANALYSIS OF NONDURABLE AND DURABLE GOODS MANUFACTURERS by Keene, Samuel Steger

    This thesis analyzes how customer satisfaction changes, as measured by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, are correlated to stock appreciation over a three-year period from 2011-2013 with a focus on durable and nondurable goods manufacturers. Additionally, top and bottom quartile performers over this time period are analyzed. The findings suggest that customer satisfaction is more highly correlated with stock appreciation for durable goods manufacturers and for companies scoring in the bottom quartile of ACSI scores, indicating that customer satisfaction increase may have diminishing returns in terms of stock price appreciation.

  • Thumbnail for Structural breaks in the agricultural trade patterns of Canada, the United States, and Mexico in the Context of NAFTA
    Structural breaks in the agricultural trade patterns of Canada, the United States, and Mexico in the Context of NAFTA by Villagrana, Florita

    The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on January 1, 1994 signaled the economic integration of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The economic theory behind international trade suggests the free flow of goods allows each nation to focus on comparative advantages, therefore permitting all parties involved to consume more goods of a better quality and at a lower price. The purpose of this study was to determine how agricultural trade patterns for Canada, the United States, and Mexico changed in terms of composition, value, and volume since the implementation of NAFTA. As several studies included suggest, Canada and the United States exhibit a comparative advantage in the production of eggs, maize, milk, beef, and wheat, and Mexico tends to exhibit a comparative advantage in the production of horticultural products such as asparagus, beans, chilies, cucumbers, eggplants, grapes, onions, pumpkins, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelons. With this information in mind, this study sought to analyze whether or not NAFTA prompted each nation to specialize in the production of products for which they have a comparative advantage, thus the focus on the changing composition of agricultural trade. Additionally, this study attempted to determine if and when structural breaks in the trade patterns for the selected products happened (both in terms of value and volume). If the structural break happened before the implementation of NAFTA, then it may be suggested that the rising trade levels are simply the continuation of an already existing upward trend that may have started during the 1980’s. If the structural break happened around the time NAFTA was implemented, then there may be some evidence that NAFTA in particular propelled this increase in agricultural trade levels. This study relied on data provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAOSTAT). Specifically, this analysis used international trade data, in terms of value and volume, for Canada, the United States, and Mexico for sixteen agricultural products from 1961 to 2011. The methodology consisted of various multiple regression models designed to detect a structural break in value and volume trends over time. The results suggest that most products exhibited a positive value and volume structural break in 1994, when NAFTA was put in place. Various products showed evidence of a different break date, but this break date tended to be in the mid 1980’s. This is not surprising given that Mexico’s economic liberalization began during this decade with its accession into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986 and considering the 1988 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Canada and the United States.

  • Thumbnail for Success determinants of mergers and acquisitions : percent change in target manager compensation as a predictor of merger success
    Success determinants of mergers and acquisitions : percent change in target manager compensation as a predictor of merger success by Thomas, Trevor Adam

    Despite the vast body of research surrounding mergers and acquisitions, there is little consensus as to what contributes to merger success or failure. One variable, target manager retention, has been found to have some explanatory power, but target managers experience a turnover rate significantly higher than average. Decreasing target manager turnover may be a key to improving the low merger success rate, and one possible method would be to provide incentives in the form of compensation increases. This study seeks to test the hypothesis that percent change in target manager compensation is positively and significantly correlated with the merger success rate. The statistical model used to test this hypothesis is logistic regression, and data were collected on multiple mergers, executive compensation, historical stock prices, historical S&P 500 Index prices, and several business return ratios to determine whether a merger succeeded. The findings are inconclusive but provide interesting insights into the nature of mergers and illuminate several areas of potential future research.

  • Thumbnail for THE CONTRIBUTION OF PRIORITY PATENT APPLICATIONS TO THE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF HIGH INCOME OECD COUNTRIES
    THE CONTRIBUTION OF PRIORITY PATENT APPLICATIONS TO THE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF HIGH INCOME OECD COUNTRIES by Odegi, Christine

    The main goal of this study entails the quantification of the contribution of the new patent based indicator developed Rassenfosse et al., (2013) to the GDP per capital of high income OECD countries through a robust, fixed effects panel regression. The new patent based indicator utilizes priority patent applications from WIPO, USPTO, and PCT, and it also corrects for globalization miscounts, geographical, and institution bias pertaining to patent applications. The findings of this paper indicate that priority patent applications have a positive and significant effect on the GDP per capita of the high income OECD countries.

  • Thumbnail for THE COST EFFECTIVE USAGE OF MPESA: A TRANSACTION COST APPROACH
    THE COST EFFECTIVE USAGE OF MPESA: A TRANSACTION COST APPROACH by Fay, Mitchell Bokides

    High transaction costs for sending money in Kenya were reduced due to the introduction of Safaricom’s mobile payment system, Mpesa. Mpesa is seen to come in under market value. Despite this Kenyans report that Mpesa is valued more than its cost. However, scholars found that 75% of Mpesa’s costs can be reduced through sending methods of the service. This paper will analyze the groups of people who generate the lowest fees, while using the service. Concluding that business and university-educated individuals have 70% lower commission rates compared to their counterparts. Findings can help future research identify reasons for reductions in transaction cost and give information for other countries adopt a similar service.

  • Thumbnail for THE IMPACT OF THE COMPLETE FOOD ENVIRONMENT ON COUNTY-LEVEL OBESITY RATES
    THE IMPACT OF THE COMPLETE FOOD ENVIRONMENT ON COUNTY-LEVEL OBESITY RATES by Lawton, Julia

    Obesity rates in the United States have risen dramatically in the last several decades. In an attempt to explain this trend, much of current literature looks for correlation between community demographic characteristics and independent food-environment components. Few studies analyze the direct relationship between obesity rates and the food-environment, however. This paper explores this relationship at a county-level across the United States in order to fill the problematic gap in the literature. To provide a complete representation of the food-environment, county-level data for the prevalence of fast-food restaurants, full-service restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and supercenters are analyzed for their relationship to obesity rates at the county-level while controlling for a multitude of demographic and community characteristics. This study concludes that fast-food restaurants and convenience stores are positively correlated with obesity rates, while full-service restaurants and grocery stores are negatively correlated with obesity rates. Though intuitive, these conclusions provide representative insight to policy-makers on the true dynamic between the food-environment and obesity rate such that effective strategies may be implemented to better fight the obesity epidemic.

  • Thumbnail for TROUT STOCKING IN COLORADO (1885-2013): SPECIFICALLY OBSERVING VARIABLES CONTRIBUTING TO ANGLER LICENSE SALES
    TROUT STOCKING IN COLORADO (1885-2013): SPECIFICALLY OBSERVING VARIABLES CONTRIBUTING TO ANGLER LICENSE SALES by Coleman, Kevin

    This study analyzes the various trends in Colorado’s historical angler license sales from the conception of hatchery and licensing programs within the state. The analyses illustrate how the historic supply and demand for hatchery trout greatly determined how Colorado’s stocking programs developed over time. The results show that as Colorado stocks more fish, there is an expected decline in total angler licenses bought three years down the line.

  • Thumbnail for The Colorado Rockies and Market Inefficiency in Major League Baseball
    The Colorado Rockies and Market Inefficiency in Major League Baseball by Grosenbaugh, Andrew J

    The Colorado Rockies play their home games in an environment unlike any other team in Major League Baseball. The altitude effect present in Denver, CO potentially plays a role in why hitters thrive for the Rockies and pitchers struggle. Player’s statistics are altered by playing in Denver, and these performance indicators’ significance diminishes, especially for Rockies players. Statistics are influential in determining player compensation in professional baseball. The statistics of Rockies players, however, are biased because they play 81 home games at high altitude each season. The results of this paper support the notion that the Rockies capitalize on their unique effect by paying players differently than the rest of the league.

  • Thumbnail for The Contract Year Determinants of an NBA Player's Salary
    The Contract Year Determinants of an NBA Player's Salary by Liss, Aaron

    The purpose of this study is to identify the primary determinants of an NBA player’s salary from his contract season performance. While some factors are outside a player’s sway, such as height and age, others such as points per game are within their control, and this study examines which factors are significant. The study examines 272 players and data from the year before they signed their new contract. A regression analysis tests the relationship between salary as the dependent variable and a number of independent variables. The analysis reveals that NBA teams value players who score points and generate wins (as measured by win shares). While teams will never forego the human aspect and evaluation present in every transaction, analyzing the statistical side should help expose some market inefficiencies currently present in the NBA.

  • Thumbnail for The Effect of Standardized Test Policies on College Choice
    The Effect of Standardized Test Policies on College Choice by Schroeder, Annaliese

    This study examines the relationship between standardized test policies and student matriculation decisions by using Admitted Student Questionnaire data from Colorado College for years 2011 and 2012. The data compares perceived characteristics of CC and CC’s closest competitor. A probit model is used to explain the likelihood that certain personal and college characteristics will lead a student to enroll at CC. The results of this study suggest that students are 14 percentage points more likely to enroll at CC if CC’s closest competitor requires standardized test scores. In addition, this study explores the effect certain personal characteristics have on the relationship between test policies and college choice.

  • Thumbnail for The Effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on the Intensive Margin of Labor Supply
    The Effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit on the Intensive Margin of Labor Supply by Smith, Brendan

    The Earned Income Tax Credit is a form of welfare awarded to eligible recipients as a refundable tax credit. It is awarded in three phases: the phase-in region, where the award value increases as income increases; the plateau region, at which recipients earn the maximum credit at a middle range of incomes; and the phase-out region, where the award dollar value decreases as income increases. This study attempts to quantify the effects of EITC on the hours worked by its recipients. We find that both single and married recipients tailor hours to maximize EITC earnings by bunching at the second kink. When in the plateau range, married EITC recipients tend to increase weekly hours worked by 5.60; upon moving into the phase-out region, however, these recipients decrease hours worked by 1.15 hours. Single recipients increase hours worked in the plateau range by 1.98 hours. When they enter the phase-out region, they decrease their labor supply by 0.35 hours per week. The findings suggest that EITC recipients manipulate hours worked to maximize the credits they receive.

  • Thumbnail for The Potential Economic Benefit of Unmanned Aerial Systems in Agriculture
    The Potential Economic Benefit of Unmanned Aerial Systems in Agriculture by Stockdale, George Bailey

    The use of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in remote sensing applications is being explored by a number of disciplines. One industry in particular – agriculture - has seen notable interest and exploration in the use of these types of systems to monitor crops. UAVs have potential to affect farming by reducing the amount of chemicals used, detect areas of less growth, pinpoint irrigation issues, and help in farm management decisions by providing yield estimates with high accuracy. After a review of the theory and science behind the data collection and processing, we estimate the dollar value of the data by looking to agronomic studies of remote sensing with satellites. The results suggest that UAVs will have a positive economic benefit in agriculture.

  • Thumbnail for The effect contracts have on player performance
    The effect contracts have on player performance by Fejes, Samuel Hunter

    This study examines the performance levels of National Hockey League athletes before and after contract signings. By investigating a player’s performance before signing a new contract, we seek to understand whether a player utilizes his future contract as an incentive to work significantly harder until that contract is achieved. There have been numerous studies looking at player contracts, but few studies have examined the impact a contract has on a player’s performance in the National Hockey League. A player’s performance was calculated using an Ordinary Least Squares Regression to determine player’s trends in performance, using two models to look at a player’s overall point production and time on ice per game. The data gathered consists of 249 players that represent performance before and after signing a new contract. This paper seeks to determine whether or not a contract will affect a player’s performance during the first three years after they sign a new contract with the National Hockey League. The results have shown that a player performs significantly better in the year prior to their contract signing compared to the years after the signing. Additionally, the study shows that a player’s performance tends to fall in the two years following a new contract, but exceeds expectations during their third year.

  • Thumbnail for The impact of a college education on a professional golfer's career earnings
    The impact of a college education on a professional golfer's career earnings by Brown, Sandford Hutchinson

    The investment in a college education and the corresponding increase in wage rate is a fundamental component of the human capital theory. For golfers in the United States, the main pipeline to the PGA Tour runs through a traditional college education. Many golfers choose to cut this education short and begin their professional careers before earning a degree. This study examines the potential economic implications a professional golfer faces from this decision. The results show that each additional year of college a golfer chooses to take causes a slight increase in career earnings. However, golfers who do choose to leave college early as underclassmen also see an increase in career earnings. These apparently contradictory results are justified because individuals recognize their own heterogeneous abilities and make an informed decision when choosing whether or not to leave college early.

  • Thumbnail for The impact of international information disclosure requirements on market discipline
    The impact of international information disclosure requirements on market discipline by Leyshon, Kirby I.

    Financial regulators are challenged with finding the most efficient and effective ways to monitor banks given an expanding and complex international financial system. Market discipline has grown in importance as a way to incentivize banks from taking on unnecessary risk (Barth et al., 2004; Nier & Baumann, 2006). One of the main drivers of market discipline is information disclosure. While the literature on market discipline is expansive, there are no known studies on the impact of individual information disclosure requirements on market discipline. Our study investigates which specific disclosure requirements influence financial investors to discipline banks and which do not. We find that half of the information disclosure requirements potentially reduce market discipline practices while the other half may enhance financial investors’ response to bank risk.

  • Thumbnail for The impact of political violence on tourism in Nepal
    The impact of political violence on tourism in Nepal by Moktan, Sidharth

    This study uses the Auto Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) framework to investigate the relationship between tourism and political violence in Nepal in the presence of a structural break. Using monthly time series data from January 1991 to December 2012, we find results that suggest the existence of negative short run and long run relationships between the two variables. The results of a dynamic ordinary least squares (DOLS) model estimation suggests that our results are robust to differences in model specification. A Toda-Yamomoto Granger Causality analysis suggests that political violence Granger-causes tourism in Nepal. The stability of the long run estimates is tested using CUSUM and CUSUMSQ tests.

  • Thumbnail for The impact of prize money on marathon performance and acclaim
    The impact of prize money on marathon performance and acclaim by Heathcott, Colbert Forrest

    In the past century, marathon running has become a major phenomenon in society. As a result, race participation and frequency have increased in the United States over the past decade. With the increased growth of the sport, the amount of money and the overall economic impact of races have risen, causing event organizers and sponsors to face decisions involving race awards and funding. Using an OLS regression model, this study examines the impact of prize money on marathon performance and acclaim. Results reveal marathon running to be exempt from incentive theory, as athletes do not perform better as a result of increases in winning prize money. Prize money also has no significant impact on the popularity of marathon events. Other factors, such as marathon location and history, significantly affect the acclaim of a marathon event. A thorough understanding on the impact of prize money is necessary for the future of the growing sport of marathon running.

  • Thumbnail for The role of meaning in a time-constrained world
    The role of meaning in a time-constrained world by Juskelis, Lauren

    This paper examines the way in which Americans use their time in an attempt to understand the role meaningfulness plays in time allocation. Data from the American Time Use Survey are used in both OLS and logistic regression models to determine the factors that influence how much people work and whether they work at all. Controlling for demographic characteristics, I use separate regressions for work, leisure, care taking, maintenance, and travel activities; this allows meaningfulness to differ by activity. I find that meaningfulness does play a significant role in the labor/leisure decision. Finding any activity meaningful is correlated with more hours worked for those in the work force, but finding non-work activities meaningful influences people to opt out. This analysis aims to shed light on how psychological factors and personal experience impact time allocation through the lens of the labor/leisure decision.

  • Thumbnail for The yield spread between the 10-year treasury bond and the 3-month treasury bill as a predictor of real, quarterly GDP growth rates
    The yield spread between the 10-year treasury bond and the 3-month treasury bill as a predictor of real, quarterly GDP growth rates by Collins, Spencer

    This thesis proves that the yield spread, between the 10-year Treasury Bond and the 3-month Treasury Bill (“my spread”) is able to explain roughly 5% of the variation in real, quarterly GDP growth rates, four-quarters in the future. It also demonstrates that a yield spread of this maturity-combination is marginally more predictive than the other, commonly used spread, between the 10-year Treasury Bond and the 1-year Treasury Bond.

  • Thumbnail for Theft as occupation : assessing the relationship of crime with unemployment rates and benefit expenditure in Spain
    Theft as occupation : assessing the relationship of crime with unemployment rates and benefit expenditure in Spain by Mahan, Laila

    This paper will examine the relationship that unemployment benefit expenditure and unemployment rates have on crime rates. The study will focus on Spain, but will include analysis of five other European Union member states in the years 1993 to 2012. In times of unemployment and poor economic health, more individuals choose to perform criminal acts to make ends meet. We will use data from the European Commission and OECD databanks to create a reduced-form OLS model that is controlled for time. We found that this reduced-form is insufficient for analyzing the complex behavioral economics that go into the financial motivations for committing a crime. Our research did present opportunities and guidelines for further research to be done focusing on Spain’s metropolitan districts.

  • Thumbnail for Up in smoke : the effects of recreational marijuana dispensaries on regional crime in Colorado and Washington, 2009-2014
    Up in smoke : the effects of recreational marijuana dispensaries on regional crime in Colorado and Washington, 2009-2014 by Cieplak, Philip

    This paper examines whether the legalization of marijuana has contributed to crime rates around Colorado and Washington. Specifically, the primary objective of this paper is to analyze incident based crime rates in a 1,400-ft radius around each dispensary before and after legalization. I collected incident-based crime data from cities across Colorado and Washington from January 2009 to November 2014. For the control variables, I primarily used census block groups around each dispensary and employment data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). After sorting each variable into sub-categories, I am able to test my hypothesis at different levels across the dataset. Aggregate data analysis supports the hypothesis that legalizing recreational marijuana would have no statistically significant effect on crime in Colorado and Washington. Categorizing my results suggest crimes such as Burglary and Robbery increased by up to 111%, while Vandalism and ‘All Other Crimes’ decreased by up to 130% since legalization.

  • Thumbnail for WHY GENDER MATTERS: THE WAGE DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN PRIMARY AND SPECIALTY CARE PHYSICIANS
    WHY GENDER MATTERS: THE WAGE DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN PRIMARY AND SPECIALTY CARE PHYSICIANS by Visich, Andrew Marion

    The phenomenon of wage discrimination between primary care physicians and specialty care physicians has produced a disparity in the quantity of each physician that reduces the effectiveness of healthcare in the United States. In order to understand why such a disparity exists, this study investigates the wage determinants for each physician and if these determinants influence the choice of a physician to specialize or not. Using data from the 2004/2005 Community Tracking Survey, this study uses regression analysis to determine the value of the determinants of physician income. This study finds that not only is there an income gap between physicians, but there also exists a gender gap among each type of physician.

  • Thumbnail for What determines leverage in leveraged buyouts? An examination of U.S. LBO's and capital structure
    What determines leverage in leveraged buyouts? An examination of U.S. LBO's and capital structure by Paul, Taylor Andrew

    This paper examines leverage in United States private equity led LBOs. The dataset used is a unique, self-constructed sample of 45 United States private equity sponsored buyouts completed between 2006 and 2014. Through a series of regressions, I find that classical capital structure theories and debt market liquidity do not explain leverage in LBO’s. Due to limitations the data set that I constructed proved to be not large enough to come to any significant conclusions. The only significant variable that determines leverage multiples in U.S. LBO’s is the ratio of fixed assets to total assets. This thesis finds that the signs and coefficients are similar to previous empirical research, but they are all insignificant in terms of the regression analysis. It could be concluded that there are too many variables and external factors that determine the leverage multiple in leverage buyouts.

  • Thumbnail for Who will have an entrepreneur as their neighbor?
    Who will have an entrepreneur as their neighbor? by Bjerke, Axel

    Columbus on the boarder between Georgia and Alabama has gone from about 113 new firms in 2005 to 68 new firms in 2012, while Bend in Oregon had almost 830 new firms in 2007 or almost 0.006 new firms per capita. Which is the highest per capita for any city in the US between 2005-2012. These differences have been attributed to culture and other factors that are very hard to change and control. This thesis will investigate the effect of the presence of specific types of firms on entrepreneurship. Does a city want to attract big, small, tech or manufacturing firms to create more entrepreneurship? The findings show that there are positive effects of attracting manufacturing, construction, retail and transportation firms. Big agricultural, health and accommodation firms all have a negative effect on the number of new firms started in the city